Tag Archive | Video

Video Clip of The Week: WARGIRL, “How You Feel”

When a song instantly conjures a mental movie, on whose soundtrack it fits perfectly, from the very first time you can hear it, that song possesses a cinematic quality that’s been missing from music since the seventies. Just being serious. The transcendent power of the one-song soundtrack hit me as soon as I watched this week’s video clip, “How You Feel” from the southern California-based, mixed-gender sextet, WARGIRL. Blending sixties psychedelia together with seventies funk until it is oh, so smooth, “How You Feel” could have been lifted from a key scene in almost any early James Bond thriller, or perhaps something a bit more exotic, such as Mario Bava’s Danger: Diabolik. If reading that sentence doesn’t get you excited to hear this band, you are dead from the neck up and there is no hope for you. Visually, the accompanying video is a Mondrian-esque, color-block title sequence to that very same movie in your head. It’s two minutes and thirty-five seconds of pure, cinematic perfection.

Comprised of guitarist Matt Wignall, lead singer Samantha Park, bassist Tamara Raye, keyboardist Enya Preston, and dual percussionists Erick Diego Nieto and Jeff Suri, the various members’ diverse backgrounds allow WARGIRL to effortlessly cross and combine genres. I know it’s often said, but WARGIRL truly is a band that sounds like no other, and that’s a very good thing. “How You Feel” can be found on WARGIRL’s self-titled debut album, which is due out on April 19th, 2019! Enjoy!

Wargirl Album Cover Art

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Daniel Rozin Cracked Mud at Bitforms Gallery

Cracked Mud Still Full
All Photos and Video By Gail

It wasn’t until the very last day of the exhibit that I made it over to Bitforms Gallery to check out Israeli-American artist Daniel Rozin’s 3-piece interactive show, Sol. To be honest, I was most interested in a piece that everyone seemed to be writing about, a kinetic sculpture/installation called Cracked Mud (2019), which mimics the cracked surface of a dry river bed, stretched out under a glowing sun-like orb.

Cracked Mud Still 2

According to the exhibit press release, “the effects of climate change are causing lakes to warm faster than the oceans and air, leading to a vast increase of dried riverbeds. Cracked Mud emulates this environment with a large-scale floor installation that takes over most of the gallery space.

Cracked Mud Still 6

A barren landscape illuminated by a glowing sun is suddenly transformed into dynamic, undulating motion by sensors that transmit the observer’s gestures into gradual ripples across the ceramic landscape.

Check Out My Video, Below:

The work performs as both an interactive and generative experience through programmed periods of activity. Although the artwork is intrinsically mechanical, the rippling effect gracefully echoes the fluidity of nature. Rozin’s ceramic fragments marry the handmade qualities of natural materials with the exactitude of kinetic technology.”

It was very fun and cool to watch the “Mud” react to my movements as I walked around the installation, and the gallery was empty while I shot the video so, except for a slight cough off-screen from the gallery docent, it was nice and quiet as well.

Cracked Mud Still 3

Cracked Mud Still 4

Video Clip of The Week: Andrew Bird, “Manifest”


Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird has been doing his own thing under-the-radar in various bands, collaborations, and solo efforts — across multiple genres — for two decades. He may not be a household name — unless you know him from his tenure with Squirrel Nut Zippers — but those who seek true ‘artistry’ in a music artist continue to pay attention to his prolific body of work. Today it is my pleasure to give Bird his inaugural exposure on The ‘Gig with the song “Manifest,” from his latest recording.

With playfully colorful animation by Andrea Nakhla, the video for “Manifest” is an ideal accompaniment  to this somewhat wistful song that delivers an urgent call to action regarding not just defending, but actively saving our environment, wildlife and natural resources. There’s never been a better time than now to wake up and own your destiny, even if it means acknowledging that we’ve  got our work cut out for us. “I’m interested in the idea that our enemies are what makes us whole,” Bird explains. The song’s lyrics are direct and risk-taking, cutting to the quick of what’s happening in our world. The message is that it’s not too late to turn things around.

With all of his many talents, at his core, Andrew Bird is a gifted storyteller whose turn of phrase and instrumental arrangements remind me of greats like Leonard Cohen and James Taylor. He is certainly a unique and welcome voice in today’s cultural climate. “Manifest” can be found on Andrew’s brand new album, My Finest Work Yet, out now on Loma Vista Recordings. Enjoy!

Andrew Bird CD Cover

Video Clip of The Week: Band Of Skulls, “We’re Alive”


I can’t believe it’s been five whole years since UK Rock Duo Band Of Skulls made an appearance in this space; and yet, it is so. Needless to say, they’re back with a vengeance with this week’s video clip for “We’re Alive.” While this anthemic song ushers in a poppier sound for Band of Skulls, the heavy baselines, rich vocals and hooks galore haven’t gone anywhere. Shot entirely in tones of red and black, the video not only looks great, it also has an intriguing message.

As the band — comprised of Russell Marsden (guitar, vocals) and Emma Richardson (bass, vocals) — explains, the video is the second installment of a trilogy that began with “Cool Your Battles” (released in February), “using the same central characters who are losing themselves to the music. The song is life affirming, cutting through the mundaneness of modern life to proclaim ‘We’re Alive.’” Director Nate Camponi adds that he “wanted the video for ‘We’re Alive’ to be a vision of a surreal cult, built from this crazy cross section of characters, all dancing in sync. Where did these characters end up after they raved together at the end of ‘Cool Your Battles’?  Well, they ended up getting seduced into following this strange Guru character, who hypnotizes them with a bizarre dance. Ultimately, it’s a tongue-in-cheek study of power and brainwashing, and how we’ve seen countless historical figures stand up and assume total control. It’s a deep concept but hopefully it’s still lighthearted enough to get your foot tapping.” Mission accomplished!

“We’re Alive” appears on the band’s fifth album, Love Is All You Love (produced by Richard X), which is set for release April 12th, 2019 via So Recordings. Enjoy!

Band of Skulls 2019 Photo
Band of Skulls!

Video Clip of The Week: Jeff Whalen, “Alien Lanes”


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Hey, did you remember to set your clocks forward by one hour last night / this morning for Daylight Saving Time? If not, do that right after you watch this week’s video clip, Jeff Whalen’s “Alien Lanes,” which is all kinds of awesome. To get as obscure-yet-specific as possible, “Alien Lanes” reminds me sonically of the ultra-sublime, bubblegum power pop by one of those late ‘60s/ early ‘70s Saturday Morning Kids’ Show bands, such as The Banana Splits or The Bugaloos. If you know what I’m talking about, great. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter. Everybody knows that I only write this column for myself! If I had to reference a real band that existed outside of TV, perhaps the Bay City Rollers, The Records, Jellyfish, or even the music made by Jeff Whalen’s former band, Tsar, can serve as an appropriate comparison. My point is that it sounds like nothing else you’re hearing right now, and that can only be good thing. As an aside, I was a big fan of Tsar back in the day, and here is a photo of me at a Banksy exhibit wearing one of their T-shirts.

Gail in a Tsar T Shirt

Visually, “Alien Lanes” is, in fact, a Saturday Morning Kids’ Show co-starring an Army Guy who does a mean David Byrne impression (watch for it), a Sexy Witch, and Dracula, all having a fun, otherworldly adventure with Jeff, who I am now in love with. “Alien Lanes” can be found on Jeff’s just-released, very-first-ever solo album, 10 More Rock Super Hits. Enjoy!

Jeff Whalen
I Love Him.

Video Clip of The Week: Danko Jones, “Dance Dance Dance”

 

I have no problem admitting that I am almost always disappointed in any act that relies on the presence of dancers on stage with them in order to perform. This includes all urban acts and pop solo-singers, who are the absolute worst offenders. I enjoy dancing as much as the next person, but if you need dancers jumping and humping all around you to make your music palatable, then just give up now because I am already over it.  Now that my rant is out of the way, let me tell you that this week’s video, which is Danko Jones“Dance Dance Dance”, is not like any other dance-centric music video with that you’ll see. Because “Dance Dance Dance” is not about the band playing with dancers; it is about a group of women dancing to the music because they are feeling it. And that is very different. Amir Chamdin, an award-winning Swedish filmmaker who has previously directed videos for take-no-prisoners headbangers like Ghost and The Hellacopters, shot “Dance Dance Dance” this past January in Stockholm, and created something truly unique by combining two vastly different art forms – Danko Jones‘ signature style of fist-pumping rock with an incredible, single-take dancehall-inspired clip. Watch these three ladies tear it up and tell me it doesn’t take you back to the days of dancing in your bedroom to your favorite rock albums back when rock albums were still made. If you’re not that old, ask your parents what it was like. “Dance Dance Dance” can be found on Danko Jones‘ upcoming new album, A Rock Supreme, due for release on April 26, 2019. Enjoy!

A Rock Supreme

Video Clip of The Week: “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In” By Tragedy


If you get 20 seconds into this week’s awesome Video Clip and suspect that you may be watching an outtake from This is Spinal Tap, you are not to blame. The tristate area band Tragedy started out as a heavy metal tribute to the Bee Gees, but they have now expanded their repertoire to include a wider variety of classic pop acts, and that’s just good news for everyone. Today we feature the video for Tragedy’s metalized performance of “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In,” a song from the legendary Broadway musical Hair, which was popularized in a 1969 single release by The 5th Dimension. Wikipedia confirms that this song, which is actually a medley of two songs from the play,  was one of the most popular songs of 1969 worldwide, but the lyrical message of “Aquarius” — about welcoming an age of love, light, and humanity — is more important at this moment than maybe ever before in our lifetimes.

Visually, this video is a straight-up, fully stylized band performance intercut with a few thematically appropriate cosmic visual effects and a brief modern dance interlude featuring a pair of blonde babes, to keep it very theatrical and visually engaging throughout. And as much as I wish that the drummer would put on a shirt, I respect the fact that he is fully immersed in his art. Aurally, Tragedy stay faithful to the song’s original arrangement while rocking hard enough to crack a skull. Even the most devoted head bangers will give the horns up on this one.

“Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In” is part of the just-release album Tragedy Goes to the Movies, featuring metal-injected takes on music from cinema classics such as Grease, 007 Skyfall, Hair, and Star Wars: Return of The Jedi, which can be procured at This Link.  The Tragedy Goes To The Movies World Tour kicked off on February 22nd, 2019, for stops in the UK, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Germany and all across the US. Consult the Google for tour dates! Enjoy!

Tragedy Band